On the Kent and Sussex border lays the ruin of Bayham Old Abbey built in and around the 13th century with an unknown architect for use of the clergy up until 1538 when Henry VIII claimed ownership of the abbey. In later life, the abbey was sold to Sir John Pratt in 1714 by Queen Elizabeth I and finally donated to the English Heritage in 1961.
The abbey itself lays in disarray, with alot of the building missing, but fortunately the outer structure is still intact and you can imagine how it would have looked from the inside. The abbey itself has a massive inside area and provides an atmospheric feel to it, and providing amazing photo and video opportunities.
The main alter of the building is still preserved and due to it being in the outside environment to the weathers, now has a humongous tree growing up the wall behind the alter, giving an impressive photo opportunity for keen photographers. The scale of the Abbey is not apparent until you most into the middle of the building, and look down the aisles from entrance to alter, a good football pitches length.
The one thing that we, and other visitors have a slight worry about is the lack of signage regarding the structure and any more information than the main entrance which gives a brief synopsis of the area. Although not a problem for most people and can be overcome by checking the plethora of information on the internet, it would be nice for the less tech savvy to have more information in our opinion.
There was also ruins of a summerhouse used by Canons which also served as a gatehouse connecting the roads of Kent and Sussex. There is only one visible at this moment but there are plans to find the second one at a later date.
Overall, another great visit, exploring another ruin and appreciating it’s architecture and seclusion from the outside environment. Our tip is to read up about the abbey beforehand to get an understanding of it’s history, or just explore around and imagine the possibilities of why, when and how it exists.
We hope you enjoyed this post on Bayham Old Abbey and hope you join us next time on our adventures. Please give our social media platforms and look and a follow. We hope to see you on our next adventure!